Germany is one of the most equality-focused countries I have lived in, like ever.
How do I know? Well for starters on the telly there seems to be more women presenters reading the news and even reporting live from sports events.
Furthermore, most of the women presenters have a healthy BMI and moveable faces that still possess the ability to crease as they enunciate…unlike what I have seen on South African, British, American and most especially South American television.
But looking at German grammar, it is clear that Germany never started this way.
Yes, because how else can you explain the fact that the German language classifies nouns into male and female? What kind of segregation is that?
Please allow me digress at what else riles me about German. The verbs come “am ende,” at the end. So, you cannot say: “I watched television”…instead, you and your Ekiti-bastardized tongue better be saying: “I the television watched,” or something like that.
First of all, it was a relief to hear this, as it explained all the rubbish English my husband can speak sometimes . But you know; we cannot let small-small thing like bad English come and go and spoil something as serious as visa from the abroad naaa.
My friend had warned; “whenever a German dives into a sentence that is the last you are going to see of him until he emerges on the other side of the Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.”
So here I am, in a place where you are not qualified to even wash plates unless you speak Deutsch, never mind your two Masters and one certificate in Project Management.
Speaking of which, a plate is masculine gender, and therefore called ein Teller, while a fork is female, called eine Gabel.
While new speakers learn these nouns, they also have to learn the gender form, or else one will go up and down blowing bullets in the name of trying to sound German.
So, one day in language class, I thumbing through my German-English dictionary to make sense of what my teacher was saying, when my hand stumbled on this:
The word Selbstbefriedigung is the German one for “masturbation,” but what annoyed me most was that the gender for this was…FEMALE!
What were these people trying to say? That women masturbate more? I felt like I needed to have a meeting with whoever was in charge of choosing genders and ask them what surveys they carried out centuries ago when the language was being fashioned to make them feel Selbstbefriedigung was worthy of a female tag.
Instead, realistically, I took to Nigerian Facebook to vent.
Responses were as follows:
“Calm down! Maybe it is because Selbstbefriedigung is usually inspired by women? I do not think men are guilty of this anymore.”
“Abegi…behind every Selbstbefriedigung is a female…that’s the reason!”
As a female, you know, Naija feminist and all that, I was still venting, writing a thesis against these men who always see women as sex objects and excuses for their libido when a German came on the thread to point out some other words.
Apparently, all these German words have the male gender:
Bertrug – To cheat
Because we all know men cheat more than women. They can cheat on you with your shadow and none of you both will be the wiser.
Mord – Murder
Yes, men fit this bill; they can at least murder your destiny if not actually you. Yoruba demon tinz.
Hinterhalt – Ambush
This is how they ambush virgins into being non-virgins and ambush non-virgins into becoming baby factories whereby #ShakaraDonEnd
Untergang – Ruin
Remember how Yomi Casual “Unterganged” two ladies’ lives and everything came out on the comments section on Instagram? #NuffSaid
Seitensprung – Extra-marital affair
You know a man will “Seitensprung” from how they eat…. na dem dey mix Egusi with Ogbono soup. Leave restaurant and go and chase Orobo when Madam na Lepa!
Is German grammar still complicated? Of course! Let me not go into other forms.
But do I feel the language is sexist? Nope! They totally did a good job separating the sexes…in fact I wager a scorned Nigerian chic helped them sort out their genders for the nouns…who knows.
And on that note…let me get meine Brechstange.
It means let me get my crowbar. You know, to pry my tongue from my cheek.
Yes, Brechstange is crowbar and it is female.
Btw…two quick questions.
How many of you believe that “behind every Selbstbefriedigung is a female”?
Raise your hands.
How many of you are doing Selbstbefriedigung tinz right now?
Raise your…never mind. I’m guessing you’ll need those hands.